Hello all! I am back after a very long break from blogging. This was not on purpose, but life got in the way. 2L has been really busy, and I have been trying to keep my head above water. However, I am very excited to be blogging again. I have had time to think and talk to others about topics I could potentially blog about. So, let us jump right in.
There are a various amount of things you can do to utilize your 1L summer. I can think of four off the top of my head and probably the most common. First, you can work within the legal field or not within the legal field. Second, you can study abroad and travel the world. Third, you can stay and take classes with your law school. Lastly, you can go home. There can be some overlap between these four categories, but this is what I saw with myself and my friends from this past summer. Overall, 1L summer should be what YOU want. People told me, and I believe them, that 1L summer is the last “free summer” you will get. This is because 2L summer ‘should’ be where you work in the state where you can see yourself practicing or just working in general. 3L summer you will likely be studying for the bar exam. The beautiful thing about law school is that everyone is different in what they want to do. So, just because someone is doing something different than you doesn’t mean that either one of you is wrong. There are different ways for people to achieve their goals and they are ideally doing what is best for them to achieve their goal.
During my 1L summer, I worked, went to school, and traveled. It was a very busy summer, but I gained much hands-on experience while still learning within the classroom. I took Professional Responsibility (PR) in Maymester, and then I took Evidence as a regular summer course. I also did an externship. An externship is where you work to receive class credit. Overall, I was in 9 credits this summer. Summer was challenging for me because I never felt as if I got a break. I took my final exam for 1L on a Friday, then I had to prepare for PR class that started the next Monday. I sat in PR Monday-Friday for 4 hours for two weeks (because it was maymester) and then also went work at the law firm when the class was done. I worked and went to school all throughout undergrad, but I did not work during 1L. It was hard getting back into the groove of working and going to school. It was even more difficult because my classes are now more challenging than in undergrad. After the two weeks of PR, I took my final on a Tuesday and started class on that Wednesday for my 8-week Evidence class and continued to work.
I love evidence. I love that I took evidence while working because it put things into perspective on how they work. I wasn’t just learning rules for a grade. I was learning rules and applying them to real life. I learned that you can get amazing grades, but law school will teach you how to think like a lawyer, not how to be a great lawyer. Learning to be a great lawyer comes with experience and trial and error. For example, I can memorize how to do a proof of service for civil procedure, but actually going through the process of filing a proof of service was challenging.
I decided to work in summer because I never had worked within the legal field before, and I wanted to get experience. This was the best way to utilize my 1L. I worked at a small law firm downtown. There were two attorneys, one paralegal, and two externs. I was able to receive a great hands-on experience since the firm was small. I loved this. I was later hired on to stay past my externship, and now I am the Law Clerk for the firm. Working and going to school during summer has made it a better transition for working and going to school now. My course load is heavier, but I am still managing to keep up with my classes, extracurriculars, and work. Law school is about time management. Thankfully for summer, I got a feel for how I can handle work and the stress of school together.
Overall, spend your summer doing what is best for YOU. It is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing and compare yourself and feel like it might be wrong. What I did for summer was the best for ME and MY SUMMER. I grew the most this summer, and it prepared me for the stress of 2L.